Exercises for Busy Moms
We all know how difficult it is to stay in shape and find time to exercise — especially for women with babies or small kids. There’s the sleep-deprivation factor, no time and priority changes. So what are the fitness options for busy moms? The fact is, the more you can take care of yourself and the better you feel, the stronger you will be physically and emotionally to take on the day with the “little ones” — and all of life’s challenges.
Below are some quick but effective exercises — specifically designed for the busy mom — for the back and shoulders, to keep you strong and prevent future injuries that may occur with poor lifting biomechanics and poor posture. What with the heavy weight of not just the baby, but also all the fun gadgets we’re expected to lug around, it’s no surprise that our bodies need a little help to get through the day. Rotator-Cuff Strengthener For this workout you will need a light theraband. The beauty about this piece of equipment is that it’s small enough to carry in your bag or your stroller. Now you have no excuses — you can do these exercises on the go, at the park or when you have a few moments to spare. You can do this exercise either seated or standing; hold the elbows close to the waist with palms facing the sky holding the theraband. Pulling the hands away from each other externally rotating the shoulders. Reps: 3 sets of 10-15 reps. Muscle focus: Rotator cuff muscles are the small muscles that stabilize the shoulder joint. If these get weak from over-use you could end up with bicep tendonitis or other potential injuries. This is very common with moms as everything is usually done with one hand while holding the little one in the other. Tricep Push-up Extension This is one time in your life you are going to need arm strength; the biceps are going to get over-worked from the motion of picking up the baby so it’s important to balance these out and keep the triceps strong so as not to put unwanted strain on them. Hands are directly under your shoulders and knees are on the ground in a modified push-up. The pelvis is slightly pressed forward creating work in the abdominals that stabilize the spine. Place the theraband under the right hand on the floor and extend opposite arm in a tricep extension. Whilst extending the working arm be careful to keep the wrist in line with the hand not to create any unwanted tension/strain. Reps: Three sets of 10-15 reps on each side. Muscle Focus: Drawing your shoulder blades down activating your upper back muscles, engaging abs at all times. Keeping your abs strong and being aware of contracting them is very important as they play an important role in stabilizing and protecting the back. Translating this in to functional activities such as picking the baby up out of the crib will really save your back. Spine Extension With Pulses Over time in pregnancy our posture completely changes due to the increased weight of the baby bringing our body forward and causing the spine to round forward with the shoulders. This causes the back muscles to become very stretched out and weak. Seated upright with legs in front of body, shoulder-width apart, hands over your head. Hinge forward from the hips, leading with the sternum, biceps are by your ears. Hold this position and slightly pulse the arms behind the body mobilizing the shoulders and working the upper back. Return back to an upright position to repeat the movement again. Reps: Three sets of 10 pulses. Muscle Focus: Upper back and hamstring flexibility. This exercise will strengthen the mid-upper back and open up the tight thoracic area of the spine, correcting bad habits that the body formed through pregnancy. Butterfly Ab Curls Keeping your abs strong is essential for keeping your whole body strong and restoring poor posture left over from pregnancy. Lying on the floor with heels of feet together and knees bent to the side in a frog-like position. Arms are straight over your head, circle arms around and lift the head, neck and shoulders off the floor, exhaling, pulling in the abs. Hold for 5 seconds and return back to starting position. Reps:Three sets of 10 reps. Muscle Focus: As you exhale and bring the head, neck, and shoulders off the floor, think of pulling your abdominals in, up, and back to the spine. Moms, this is a time you can practice doing your kegel on the contraction working the pelvic floor.